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Chapter 2Complications

We have spent over 137 years mastering the conception, construction and production of complications. As such, our entire philosophy revolves around these rare, precious and consistently unique creations. Here you'll find the story of our mastery of complications that has become the ultimate display of our Savoir-Faire.

Theme 2

Time Keeping

It is a feat of horological mastery to be able to tell the exact time within one-fifth of a second. This level of precision extends to the act of striking the hour, quarter hour and minute on demand.

In addition, a timepiece can display the position of the stars and show the date with no need for adjustment in the coming century or two. All in the space of a tiny case that houses an even smaller mechanism. This is where we excel.

An Audemars Piguet First

1986 We introduce the world's first ultra-thin (5.5 mm including the case) selfwinding tourbillon model.

Time Keeping Complications

Audemars Piguet Escapement

2006 welcomed a return to the very essence of Haute Horologerie with the Jules Audemars watch featuring the high-frequency Audemars Piguet escapement. The escapement combines high efficiency and shock resistance with lubricant-free operation. Its technical performances are backed by a frequency of 43,200 vibrations per hour. By beating twice as fast as an ordinary movement, the balance offers exceptional chronometry and enhanced reliability. The system is complemented by a double balance-spring system all adding up to an horological revolution.


  • 43'200

    The frequency of the movement is doubled for superior precision.

  • 200

    The escapement was invented 200 years ago. Audemars Piguet has been revising and perfecting it ever since.

  • 20%

    Less energy is absorbed by Audemars Piguet's escapement compared to traditional escapements.

Time Keeping Complications


The tourbillon serves to compensate for the effects of gravity to enhance the accuracy of the movement rating. It makes the entire escapement rotate at a predefined cadence.


  • 1986

    The year Audemars Piguet manufactured the world's first tourbillon into an extra-thin selfwinding wristwatch.

  • 87

    The number of components, equaling only .403g in weight.

  • 60

    The number of seconds it takes the tourbillon to complete a full rotation, all while compensating for the effects of earth's gravity.

How It Works

Enhanced Efficiency

Swiss Lever Escapement

Swiss lever escapements power the balance wheel using two indirect impulses. The escapement absorbs 70% of the initial energy powering the balance wheel.

Audemars Piguet Escapement

Audemars Piguet's escapement delivers energy directly to the balance wheel in one direct impulse action each oscillation. This cuts the escapement's energy absorption by 20% over traditional escapements.

Experience The Difference

How It Works

A Model of Mechanical Ingenuity

Tourbillon Parts
Escapement Wheel Balance Wheel Pallet Balance Spring
Master Craftsmanship

Countering Gravity

Master Craftsmanship

Originally designed to counter the effects of gravity, the tourbillon remains a demonstration of watchmaking virtuosity. The tourbillon cage includes 87 components, including these four key parts, and weighs only .403g.

The balance wheel, balance-spring, lever and escapement wheel are installed within a cage that rotates at a predefined rhythm. By turning on itself, the tourbillon cage forces the balance wheel and balance-spring to take all the vertical positions, thereby compensating for the effects of Earth's gravity.

An experienced watchmaker takes about a month and a half to assemble this complication. Audemars Piguet is still one of the rare manufactures to have mastered all the intricacies of this complication, with over 25 different movements featuring a tourbillon.

    Jules Audemars Chronometer with Audemars Piguet Escapment

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